Teddy Training

University nurseries and childcare

The University of Birmingham provides high-quality childcare in three Ofsted-registered nurseries on or near campus: The Elms, The Oaks and The Maples. They provide childcare throughout the year during working hours. You may find nursery costs in the UK are relatively high compared to other countries. However, University of Birmingham students receive reduced monthly fees at the University’s nurseries. It’s recommended that you apply for a nursery place as early as possible. For details of fees and to enquire about availability of places, visit the University of Birmingham day nurseries website. 

Pre-School and Childcare


Nurseries provide childcare throughout the year, and are open during working hours, which can be any time from 7:30am until 6:00pm.  It is advisable to apply for a nursery place as early as possible. You may wish to apply for places at a few different nurseries as there is often a waiting list for places at popular nurseries. The availability of places may depend on your child's age and on your working patterns. If you plan to return to work part-time once your child is at nursery, it is worth talking to your preferred nursery to find out what options they offer.

Nursery costs in the UK are relatively high compared to other countries and we recommend that you check costs before booking your child into a nursery.


Childminders care for your child in their own home. Most are self-employed and can often offer more flexible hours than a nursery. A childminder might be a good option if you prefer your child to be cared for in a less formal environment.

 It is a good idea to visit several childminders before you make your final choice, and you might like to consider whether the childminder offers pick-ups for your local pre-school or nursery.


Preschool or playgroups provide play, childcare and early years educational sessions for children aged two to four years. They tend to be based on school sites or in Community Centres, and most are only open during term-time. Most pre-schools offer morning or afternoon sessions only. Fees will vary.

Childcare in your home

You can employ a nanny, au pair or a babysitter to provide childcare in your own home. If you have a disabled child you may wish to consider a ‘home childcarer’. Nannies and au pairs are not required to register with Ofsted, so you might wish to consider how to check their background and take up references before offering a position.


Crèches provide temporary childcare for a limited number of hours while you do something else. The opening times, fees and age range will vary according to the provider.

The University of Birmingham offers childcare service for eligible staff and student parents.  Please be aware that demand for the University’s nursery provision is high and there may be a long waiting list.


In the UK there are may different types of schools. These pages provide information on schools and pre-school childcare in the UK, with links to local authorities and education providers.  Children must receive some form of education or training for at least 20 hours a week until their 18th birthday. Choices include work-based learning, apprenticeships, part-time education, training or volunteering.

Children must attend full-time schooling from the age of five.

Children usually attend the school nearest to their home, as priority is given to children who live within a school's catchment area. Birmingham has many different types of schools.

UK Education System

  • Children start formal schooling in the Reception year, then progress from Year 1 through to Year 13. 
  • School Stages: providing free schools for all children across Birmingham:
  • Some of Birmingham schools give places to particular children as a priority. For example, children:
    • who belong to a particular faith background
    • of a particular gender (boys for a boys' school)
    • who have passed an entrance test, in the case of secondary grammar schools

Subjects and examinations

  • State schools usually follow the National Curriculum which prescribes the subjects that are taught. It sets out the expected ‘levels of attainment’ for pupils at the end of every school year 

  • At the age of 15/16, pupils sit public examinations for each of the subjects studied, usually General Certificate of Secondary Education’ (GCSE). GCSEs are graded from 1-9, replacing the previous system of grades A* - G

  • Pupils may then study for up to two further years for 'A Levels' (General Certificate of Education Advanced Level). Most schools or colleges will set general and subject-specific requirements for Sixth Form entry. Alternative post-16 choices include vocational qualifications and apprenticeships. You can study for a vocational qualification (such as hairdressing, catering, or leisure and tourism) at a college, or for an apprenticeship programme (such as accountancy, business administration, or engineering) through an employer

The school year and holidays

The school year begins in early September and finishes in late July.  Birmingham city council school term dates.  Private schools have longer holidays than state schools. If you have children in different schools, check the dates carefully as they do not necessarily match!

Holiday and family activities

Birmingham City Council has a list of holiday playschemes which are often on a theme or featuring a particular sport, music or drama activity. See the Birmingham City Council Family Activities page for ideas if you have some time off to spend with your children.

Birmingham offers a huge range of activities, events and festivals for families with children of all ages. The resources below will help you find out the latest information on what's happening and where.


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